Henry Wolloman Bloch Fountain merges Kansas City's history, future

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 14:11:38-04

Talk about a perfect marriage between Kansas City's past and future.

The Henry Wollman Bloch Fountain represents both for the city. In the 1990s there was just an island of land at Pershing Road and Main Street.

That all changed in 2001 when Henry Bloch retired from H&R Bloch, Inc., and gifted the city with a fountain in his namesake.



It has been landmark in Kansas City for the past 15 years, nestled between two 100-year-old buildings, Union Station and the Liberty Memorial.

However, over the years wear and tear paid its toll.

Fountains are not in use in the off-season and winter weather slowly breaks down mechanisms that make them run smoothly. Also, water rusts fountains, according to Kansas City's director of Parks and Recreation Department, Mark L. McHenry.

In 2016 when the fountain was in need of repairs and technology updates, Bloch was there. He stepped up and his foundation paid for the renovation.

The new state-of-the-art fountain is kinetic, meaning air pushes water through circular tubes to make it dance, said McHenry. It also has colored LED lights.

“We’ll put in Chiefs colors when they win the Super Bowl and Royals colors when the win the World Series again,” said George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station Kansas City.



He also said the fountain may last another 25 years, leaving the Bloch name synonymous with Union Station, a place that is very special to Henry.

“He left this station in World War II. His mom kissed him and said goodbye and then he came back,” said Guastello, reflecting on Bloch’s departure to fight in the war. 

As a walk down memory lane, Bloch road in a 1940s Lincoln over a new bridge meant to connect the future and the past. He was the first person to ride across that bridge.



Belinda Post can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter

Follow @Belinda_Post

Connect on Facebook